Follow-up on next door neighbor
The one with the sump pump that runs maybe every 15 minutes or
We had one cold day and I warned him it would freeze; and now there is
ice the width of the sidewalk that goes from one house to the next, and
8 or 10 feet long, so that his other next door neighbor has to walk on
her yard too to leave home. I shoveled the 2" of snow a few days ago,
but he's made no effort afaict to get rid of the ice.
I started pointing this out to him about 2 months ago or more, and that
it needed to be adjusted higher so it diddn't run so often, but he
doesn't like to fiddle with his house, I guess, and he said when the
plumber came in January to put in the basement bathroom, he'd get him to
fix it. (Here it is the 9th, and no plumber so far.)
(All the other houses drain the sump and the downspout underground
(after first going above ground) to the gutter. My house drains the
sump underground to the side of the stream bed. But his house isn't
close to either of these things. Well, it's close to the steam bed in
the back, but the sump pump is in the front)
I suspect this is the first house he's ever owned. I told him to drain
the garden faucets too, but last I looked one still had its garden hose
connected to it. That's probably ruined. (I did forget to tell him
about the hose, but I told him to go outside and open the faucet after
he turned the water off inside.)
They did send their 14? year old daughger over on Xmas day with a red
and green cookies and a Happy Holidays card, addressed to "our great
neighbor" or something like that, but he doesn't listen to me!! He's
hte one that needs the upflush toilet. I woudlnt' be surprised if he
gets a regular one.
On Fri, 9 Jan 2015 17:28:39 -0800, "Snuffy \"Hub Cap\" McKinney"
And then drain pipe with the bleeder from the inside. I told him that
I also gave him an old insulating cover for a garden faucet. Left it
on his stoop 4 or 6 weeks ago and someone took it inside, but when I
looked two weeks later, it wasn't on either garden faucet.
(That one was only foamy clumps pressed together. It's mate had already
crumbled. Later I got better, with a thin but hard brown plastic shell
and a foamy layer inside. But those I used when I was glum and
couldn't manage to drain my own pipes. I'm not anymore.
Thanks. I don't like to, but I've been walking on the snow. At least
there are no more school children walking past our houses.
HIs ice has ripples, from each time, every half hour. another 3 gallons
of water was spread on the earlier ice. but I don't think ripples make
it any easier to stand up on.
A couple days ago it was only 6 feet long. Now it's 8 or 10. No
thawing until Sunday afternoon.
Unsolicited "advise" is rarely heeded. I once knew a guy renting a house
in the Chicago suburbs. He said he'd never shovel the driveway, "I have
a 4 wheel drive truck", he said smugly. So, one day, after several snows
were compacted on the driveway, he pulled out and the truck bottomed out
in the middle with all 4 wheels in the air. Ah, it felt good.
This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
There is always at least one of these kind of guys in a neighborhood.
Either they plain don't care or just can't be bothered. I got one near me,
nice people but make a suggestion to fix something before it gets worse
and they shrug and walk away. They would be better off in an apartment
or condo where things are taken care for them.
On Fri, 9 Jan 2015 20:44:55 -0800 (PST), email@example.com
The previous owner suggested something like this when I talked to him a
But he didn't know details.
It would have to be far enough from the house so that the water didn't
just go into the French drain around the outside of the foundation and
back into the sump, where the drain leads.
On Sun, 11 Jan 2015 10:09:18 -0800, "Snuffy \"Hub Cap\" McKinney"
I'm glad I you didn't write a long answer. Later I started to email
the neighbor the wikip article about drywells, but remembered that first
he should raise the water level in his sump 4" and it won't pump very
often if at all. He said the plumber was coming in January and he'll
get him to do it, but I have doubts about both halves of that.
If raising the water level doesn't fix it, I'll ask you again.
On Sunday, January 11, 2015 at 6:15:10 PM UTC-6, micky wrote:
Makes no sense to me. Raising the water level in the sump won't help unless
it is raised above the level of the French drain--in which case the water
will simply accumulate in the French drain. If "x" gallons per day go into
the sump, "x" have to be pumped out, whether the maximum level in the sump
is 20" or 24".
On Sunday, January 11, 2015 at 7:15:10 PM UTC-5, micky wrote:
What happens if all your unsolicited advice about raising the water
level at the sump pump results in water coming into the basement,
causing damage? Maybe someone previously figured out some good reason why
the water level needs to be where it is. Maybe not. But if trouble results,
he likely isn't going to be happy.
You said the back of his house is close to a suitable discharge point,
the stream bed, but the sump pump is on the other side of the house.
Any reason he can't run the line across the basement, then to the stream?
If the pump is
putting water onto a public sidewalk to freeze, it only has to do it
once to potentially kill somebody. Having the pump run less, will help,
but if it puts out water where it freezes, the ice is going to be there
until it thaws.
It all depends on what the ground water level is.... It is quite possible
that raising the turn-on level a few inches might mean that the pump would
only run during/after a rainstorm, and seldom, if ever in between. I have
that situation here in my basement. There is always water running into the
sump pit from the french drain, but if I set the float level to only turn
on when the sump level is high enough that the french drain is slightly bac
ked up, the only time the pump operates is when we are having a prolonged w
et spell that raises the ground water level higher than the very bottom of
the french drain. It doesn't hurt for the water to back up slightly into t
he french drain under normal conditions, especially when it saves almost al
l of the wear and tear on the pump, to say nothing of the electricity saved
and noise not heard every time the pump runs.
On Sun, 11 Jan 2015 19:13:04 -0800 (PST), " firstname.lastname@example.org"
Exactly. That's my situation and it will probably be the same at the
same height, 24 feet away, laterally.
When I had the sump level set lower, the pump ran a lot.
On Sun, 11 Jan 2015 16:31:32 -0800 (PST), email@example.com
Yes, that's it.
The water table outside most of the time is no more than an inch or two
above the bottom of the the drain pipe where it stops at the edge of the
the sump, a few inches below the basement floor. . So once the water in
the sump gets that high, it doesn't get any higher, except while and for
a while after it's raining.
But x is zero, if the sump level is set high enough, and therefore the
pump doesn't run.
For confirmation, please see HRHofmann's post
When I bought the house, the seller told me something about periodically
adding something to the sump water so it woudlnt' smell bad. Maybe it's
my nose, but I've never added anything and it's never smelled bad.
Maybe he heard this somewhere and it applies somewhere else, but it
rains in Baltimore all year round and frequently, most years, so that
changes the water in the sump. .
If the water next door is pumped out to the sidewalk while it's already
raining, it's barely noticeable.
So, then he should run some 1.5" PVC across the basement ceiling from
the front to the back of the house, and exit thru the back wall, then
put a pipe on the lawn and run it to the stream. (of course it has to
slope downhill or it will freeze). That would be fairly easy and cheap
Of course from reading this thread, it appears he wont do anything.
Then again, it's his property and not your concern. If he screws up his
house, that's his business, not yours. You can suggest things, but you
cant MAKE him do anything. If there is ice building up in YOUR yard,
then you might contact the local building inspectors.
Since you mentioned a stream next to the house, there is a good chance
that stream has underground channels or a spring, and it may be under
On Mon, 12 Jan 2015 06:23:32 -0800 (PST), trader_4
That's not possible. Right now the water level is 10 or 11 inches
below the floor. Raise it 4" and it will be 6 or 7" below the floor.
He said he'd ask the plumber. If you're right, the plumber should tell
It would be a lot more work. The non-laundry room that is in the rear
of the house is finished, with a sheet rock ceiling. Using one snake,
I ran coaxial cable (that ultimately came from my cable box) above the
ceiling, and using two snakes, I ran wires for the burglar alarm switch
in the sliding glass door channel also, but between a different pair of
He could probably fit his sump pump pipe in next to the copper pipe that
goes to the rear garden faucet. I'm pretty sure that pipe turns
vertical at the very end for about 6 inches, but with a lot of
measurement one might be able to tell where the sump pump pipe was to
come out and drill a hole in the brick wall in the right place Have to
either drill from the outside or make a hole in the ceiling.
Burying a pipe from there to the stream bed would not be hard, but it
would take some time and money. He doesn't seem to like to do things**
himself, and I don't think he'd pay for it. They had to postpone the
basement bathroom for 6 months for lack of money.
I would do the basement bathroom myself if I needed one, but just
turning off and draining the garden faucets seems like too much for him.
Today it was above freezing and raining and the ice was melting but it
was still covering the house-to-house sidewwalk, in front of both his
and his other next door neighbor's house. I thought he'd find or
borrow from me something to chop up the ice or shovel it away, but he
**Even though there are 8 houses in one "building" (in most cases) the
houses are built in pairs, in terms of elevation and distance from the
sidewalk. He did point out that the house on the other side of his
sticks out 2 or 3 feet in front of his, and he wanted to build some
portico or something that would make his stick out the same distance (or
more?) I'm pretty sure no one has ever wanted to do this before, here
or most townhouss, and I told him that he'd need permission from the
Architecture Committee. I don't think they'd agree, but I bring it up
because he did seem wiilling to spend money on that.
Someone a few years ago changed the pump and rerouted the output pipe to
the sink. Then last summer, another owner put the pipes back the way
they were when the house was built. But that still leaves 20+ years
when the pipes were like they are now and a pedestal sump pump was
there. And there was never ice in front of the house.
If the sump level is higher, snow takes so long to melt and get to the
sump that I don't think it causes the pump to go on. Only the rain
gets there so quickly, when it won't turn to ice anyhow
On Mon, 12 Jan 2015 01:19:18 -0600, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Please see my answer to Trader.
I keep wondering, if the pipes to his garden faucets freeze, burst, and
then flood his basement, how high would the water have to get to seep
though the cinderblock wall into my basement? AIUI, there is likely
just one layer of cinderblocks between us. I don't think it would
happen, but otoh if it happens when they're away for a couple days???
The pipes woudn't "burst", would they? They'd have a crack or two
running the length of the frozen part, 1 to 6 inches?, maybe only a
millmimeter wide??? How much water would come out of that? The sump
pump would try to remove it, but I keep wondering if it would be big
enough. 1/3 or 1/2 HP.
I know that. And I think I'm done suggesting, unless some new problem
arises. (and to be honest, if I see the plumber, I ask about this and
whether he's getting an upflush toilet. I wonder if he took me
seriously on that. I was in their house to look at the sump pump, for
which they seemed grateful, and I noticed the basement sink wasn't
plugged. The previous owner too, I warned her 2 or 3 times, and when
the stream flooded, she had a sad look on her face when she told me she
forgot to plug the sink. I didn't ask anymore, to not rub it in. I
really liked her. Very pretty too. I had a plan to lose 40 pounds and
30 years and ask her out. Didnt' lose any weight but I lost 15 years,
however before I knew it, she married someone else.
It may well get on part of my yard, that's only 3 feet from the ice now,
which will mean, because of bushes, taking a different route to my car,
which will mean walking over a corner of my other next door neighbor's
yard, a guy who seems to sincerely think he owns the piece of land I'd
be walking on (in addition to the corner that is his)!!! Fortunately
the mailman walks that same path, so my footprints in the snow won't be
the only ones (though the mailman goes only one direction!)
But other than that small piece of land, the drain water runs out about
20 feet from my yard so I'm sure that will never happen. I did stop
shoveling the snow a foot early** because it was covered with his ice.
And I have to walk on the snow to get to my car now, instead of the
sidewalk, but that won't really hurt anything.
**It's his sidewalk anyhow, but I've never told a neighbor that.
Isnt there a center beam going across the basement ceiling? Just run it
against that beam, thru that room, and build a wooden box over it.
That might work too!
Assuming the land sloped TOWARD the stream (which it usually does).
Just get some 3" or 4" PVC, glue them together, and leave it on top of
the ground. That way, if it was to freeze up, at least it can be thawed
or changed during the winter. Sure it's a little extra work to mow
around it, but is probably better than what you have now. Even if that
pipe only goes 20 feet closer to that stream and exits (assuming it's
downhill), you have eliminated the ice on sidewalk problem as well as
saturating both of your foundations.
Since you want to get along with that neighbor, why dont you offer to
install the pipes in his basement, in trade for a good dinner or
something, and all he has to pay for are the materials. A 10ft stick of
1.5" PVC is around $7 . You probably need 4 or 5???? a few fittings
and some glue and hangers. My guess is $50 or so for parts. Just a
thought! The outside pipes can be added later.... Even an old used
rain gutter will work for that outside part, or buy some of that cheap
flexible sump pump hose.
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